28th March 2012

CERN Inspection Visit March 2012 As school trips to CERN are so popular, Adaptable Travel’s Julie Edwards and Kerry Baker embarked on an inspection to CERN in March 2012. This is their experience, written by Julie.

When Adaptable asked me to visit CERN in Geneva, I was really excited – I have always had a keen interest in Science, and to be honest, I secretly wish I could have been a physicist at CERN myself! I was accompanied by my colleague Kerry, a huge Professor Brian Cox fan, who was also eager to follow in his footsteps. It was a great opportunity for us to visit Europe’s most respected centres where Scientists from all over the world gather.

We departed on an Easyjet flight on a bright Sunday morning with high hopes of finding the Higgs Bosson! The beautiful clear blue skies gave us a magnificent view of the Alps and the Jura Mountains and as the plane veered over Lake Geneva, I spotted the Jet D’Eau and knew Geneva drew near. At Geneva airport we took advantage of the free public transport passes available from the ticket machine at baggage claim.

The train station was located within the airport, so a short walk downstairs to the train platform and we were soon departing on a direct train to Cornavin Station (Geneva central). At the front of the Station we took ‘Tram 13’ two stops and then had a short walk to the Geneva Youth Hostel – our home for the next two nights. On checking in to the Geneva Youth Hostel we were given our free public transport passes. We found the hostel to be clean and comfortably and our room had a brilliant view overlooking the lake. The hostel itself has some great facilities including a TV room/lounge, a reading rooming room and kitchen along with computers for hire.

On that afternoon we took a stroll around the lake up to the beaches at Bains des Paquis, had an ice cream and did some general sightseeing – walking to the UN and Red Cross Buildings. The weather was glorious so we saw the beautiful city of Geneva at its best. The next day we had our visit to CERN booked.

We left the Geneva Youth Hostel and headed back to Cornavin station, then took ‘Tram 14’ which led directly to CERN entrance. After checking in at CERN we had time to visit the Microcosm exhibition. I really enjoy this it was an interactive exhibition with informative displays and practical experiments. For the main tour of CERN, we were part of a group consisting of couples and families from numerous countries including Italy and the US. Our tour guide was a Japanese Scientist working on the Atlas experiment - I really liked how the guide was an actual scientist with an active part in the working of CERN. He was really informative and offered an inspirational insight into his work and life at CERN. Our tour consisted of introductory video and then a visit to the Atlas experiment where our guide described in detail what work they were doing there and what future experiments they were planning. The tour was finished off with a 3D film. We then had the opportunity to visit the exhibition at The Globe. We then took some photos and brought some souvenirs to remember our visit.

Later that day as the sun was still shining we went on a boat trip, this was really relaxing and the views of the mountains were breath-taking. The informative commentary pointed out sites of interest including the famous mermaid statue and the many mansions and grand estate. It was also a great opportunity to take some photos of the city and the Jet d’eau.

We finished off the day with some sightseeing in the old town and fondue for dinner! Overall, we both really enjoyed our time in Geneva and CERN was an inspirational experience. I would love to go back again soon.

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